House Passes Memorial To Protect Chaco Canyon

Kin Bineola is an Ancestral Puebloan great house and archeological site 12 miles from Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Courtedy/NPS



SANTA FE — Tonight, House Memorial 70, the Protection of Chaco Canyon Landscape, sponsored by Rep. Derrick Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo), passed the New Mexico House of Representatives in a 31-28 party-line vote.

HM 70 requests that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) respect their established relationship with tribal entities by consulting with tribes on any hydraulic fracking operations around the historic Chaco Cultural Historical National Park.

“This memorial calls on the New Mexico House of Representatives to urge the federal government to respect the tribal sovereignty around the preservation and the sanctity of Chaco Canyon,” Rep. Lente said. “Protecting our tribal lands from unwelcome exploitation has a renewed sense of importance in the face of the many violations we are witnessing across this country.”

The Chaco Cultural Historical National Park is one of only 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States due to its archeological and cultural significance for Native Tribes throughout the region. Currently, more than 90 percent of the land around Chaco Canyon has been leased to oil and gas companies for hydraulic fracking operations, potentially threatening the sanctity of this historically and culturally significant site.